Stefanie Lawton found a way to grind out an 8-6 win over undefeated Val Sweeting on Sunday afternoon in front of a noisy crowd at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Draw 4 action at the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“It was a well-played game by both teams,” said Lawton afterwards. “We struggled a little in the first few ends. I was trying to figure out what was going on out there (because) it was a little different from this morning.”
In an aggressive game that saw lots of rocks in play, both teams missed opportunities to take control. In the sixth, Lawton’s hit rolled too far, leaving Sweeting an open hit for two and a 5-3 lead. Tied at five coming home, Sweeting’s final draw came up short, allowing Lawton to steal two for the 8-6 win.
“It was a battle for us out there,” Lawton said. “We managed to tie it up in the ninth end, and in the last end we were able to get some breaks,” she said.
“We’ve just got to shake it off,” said Sweeting about the team’s first loss. “We had one go our way yesterday, and we kind of let that one slip away, but we’ve got to let it go. We’ll just focus on what we did right in that game. We felt good about our draw weight and sheet management. We’ll just focus on that.”
Manitoba’s Chelsea Carey won her second game of the day, scoring two in the last end to win 7-6 over the young B.C. team skipped by Kesa Van Osch. After losing a close extra-end battle to Alberta on Saturday night, Van Osch came back strong against Carey, but it wasn’t enough.
“We’re just trying our best to have some fun and learn,” said Van Osch. “We like to win a few games, but we like to give other teams a good run for their money. We started off slow and we’re getting better and better each draw.”
For Team Quebec, the struggle continues as Allison Ross lost 9-6 to the powerful hitting of Rachel Homan and Team Canada. The teams traded threes early, but Quebec trailed 7-3 after five ends and just couldn’t catch up. Ross and her team of Melissa Gannon, Brittany O’Rourke, Pamela Nugent, alternate Lisa Davies and coach Glenn Tester are still looking for their first win in front of a partisan home crowd at Maurice-Richard Arena.
In the afternoon’s other game, Ontario’s Alison Flaxey picked up her first win, defeating Newfoundland and Labrador’s Heather Strong 8-7.
“We’re on the board,” said a relieved Flaxey, who is backed by teammates Katie Cottrill, Lynn Kreviazuk, Morgan Court, alternate Kim Tuck and coach Mort Cooper. “Feels really good. It’s like a monkey off your back. We knew coming into the weekend that it was going to be really tough playing Saskatchewan and Canada first. To beat Newfoundland and have it be a grind of a game was good for us.”
“It’s great,” said the first-time Scotties skip about her rookie experience. “It’s amazing to play for such an awesome crowd and to hear the roars when you make a shot. It really makes you want to make everything you get in the hack for.”
The Scotties continues with draws on Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times EST).
TSN/RDS2, the official broadcaster of the CCA’s Season of Champions, will provide extensive coverage of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, with 66 hours of live broadcasts scheduled.
The winner of the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will represent Canada at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Booster Juice, March 15 to 23 in Saint John, N.B.
The 2014 Scotties marks the 33rd year of Kruger Products Limited’s sponsorship of the Canadian women’s championship.
For ticket information, go to: www.curling.ca/2014scotties-en/tickets/
For schedule information, go to: www.curling.ca/2014scotties-en/draw-schedule/